Langkawi - Stage 9
The Durango kid, Tom Danielson, was just pipped on the Genting Highland stage by Hernan Munoz, however his ride was enough to ensure that he keeps the leaders jersey.
Full report, photos to follow...
1 Munoz,Hernan Dario Colombia - Selle Ital 4h15'30"
2 Danielson,Tom Saturn 4h15'31" @ 01"
3 Green,Roland Canada 4h16'09" @ 39"
4 Gonzalez,Freddy Colombia - Selle Ital 4h16'55" @ 01'25"
5 Jufre Pou,Josep Colchon Relax Fuenlab 4h17'18" @ 01'48"
6 Marin,Ruber Alveiro Colombia - Selle Ital 4h17'33" @ 02'03"
7 Baliani,Fortunato Formaggi Pinzolo Fiav 4h18'00" @ 02'30"
8 Perdiguero,Miguel Domina Vacanze same
9 George,David South Africa 4h18'22" @ 02'52"
10 Iacuone,Allan Flanders - Iteamnova 4h18'23" @ 02'53"
11 Lanfranchi,Paolo Ceramiche Panaria 4h18'40" @ 03'10"
12 Missaglia,Gabriele Lampre same
1 Danielson,Tom Saturn 30h04'27"
2 Munoz,Hernan Dario Colombia - Selle 30h04'36" @ 09"
3 Gonzalez,Freddy Colombia - Selle 30h06'11" @ 01'44"
4 Green,Roland Canada 30h06'30" @ 02'03"
5 Jufre Pou,Josep Colchon Relax Fu 30h07'02" @ 02'35"
Brioches La Boulangère's Fabrice Salanson fell heavily on a descent in
Thursday's stage of the Etoile de Besseges and has been admitted to the hospital
for testing. However, contrary to early reports that he may have suffered a
fracture of the clavicle, team manager Philippe Rainbaud told L'Equipe by phone
that there is no fracture, but rather an injury to that area that will
necessitate rehabilitation. Rainbaud said that further diagnosis will be done.
Read the race report
Ford steps up with vehicle sponsorship
Recently automaker Fiat concluded its broad vehicle sponsorship of European
races, but Ford has reached an agreement with Unipublic, organizer of the Vuelta
a Espana, to provide vehicles for that race as well as the Tours of Valenciana,
Murcia and Aragon, which are also organized by Unipublic. Ford will be supplying
approximately one hundred vehicles. (Velo 101)
Virenque's goal for the Tour
Quickstep's Richard Virenque told L'Equipe today that his goal for the Tour
is not to place well in the general classification, but to try "for the sixth
time to be the best climber" (in which case he would share a record with
Bahamontes and Van Impe). He said, "At my age, it is necessary to be modest."
Virenque is 33.
Virenque also said he feels very strong and that riding with teammates Johan
Museeuw and Frank Vandenbroucke has had a very favorable effect on him. He also
thinks that Armstrong will win the Grand Boucle "this and next year"... (Teletekst)
Russ and Nancy Wright have just returned from the Cyclo-Cross Worlds at
Monopoli, Italy, with many, many photos from the Worlds. Please visit their
AbbiOrca to see photos of every race. My favorite has to be their shot of the
"podium girls" though...
La Vuelta de las Americas
The Vuelta de las Americas kicks off on the 22nd of February and runs through
the 16th of March, covering 3333 km in 21 stages through Mexico. The race will see 180
competitors from international teams - from Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Guatemala, Japan, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lituania, Switzerland, Russia and Mexico,
as well as eight national teams.
Although the inaugural edition of the race is not on the UCI calendar, it
will be totally regulated by the UCI, which will send one of its international
commissaries. Prize money on offer is 400,000 dollars, with 25,000 reserved for
the champion. The total budget for the race is 3.5 million dollars, of which 1
million is for commercialization.
Some of the accomplished South American riders who will compete are Bolivian
Diego Lopez, Colombian Jose Luis Venegas, Costa Rican Marconi Duran, Guatemalan
Ferman Mendez, and from Mexico the Central American Champion Domingo Gonzalez.
More pressure on Milan-San Remo and Lombardia organizers
The international association of professional teams (AIGCP) says that unless
Milan San Remo and the Tour of Lombardia are broadcast in Europe, they should be
de-classified as World Cup races. In
the UCI warned broadcaster and race organizer RCS that the races must be
televised - the rates RCS proposes to charge are deemed excessive by European
re-broadcasters, and now the teams association has stepped forward to add its
Walter Godefroot (Telekom) said in the association meeting: "There are clear
rules. And that means that all World Cup races must be broadcast in whole to
Europe on television. That is important for the sponsors, for which we ride.
Also the organizers of Milan-San Remo must stick to these rules, otherwise they
won't be able to organize any more World Cups. We want to apply pressure and
hope to have success. If not, we are ready, however, to see the matter
through." (Team Telekom)
"Vuelta a Espana Pequeno"
Unipublic organizer Enrique Franco has the idea to organize a Vuelta a Espana
for youngsters, to attract young people to cycling and to improve the image of
cycling. His idea is to organize a stage in each of the twenty-one cities that
hosts a Vuelta arrival. The stages would be open to boys aged 12 to 15 years,
and assuming that there would be many entrants, holding a preselection process
starting in May.
After the Vuelta stage ends each day, the youngsters would run their course.
The length of the stages have to be determined, but the finish would be the same
as for the professional riders. After the stages had been disputed in each host
city, the winners of each would then participate in a final stage in Madrid, the
winners of which would receive podium prizes. Franco also envisions clinics with
the pro riders for the youngsters.
Franco said a recent study discovered there are more bikes than soccer balls
in Spanish households. "With this idea we could give youngsters incentives - to
ride where the Vuelta riders have." (AS.com)
Pradera on Qatar
ONCE's Mikel Pradera gave his impressions of Qatar to Gara.net, after
arriving yesterday at Mallabia, Spain from the Tour of Qatar. The Basque
Pradera was astonished by the high standard of living in Qatar, with luxury
cars, excellent city organization and infrastructure.
What impressed him during the Tour de Qatar? "What has astonished me most is
the standard of life that there is. Everything is very luxurious: the cars, the
hotels... All were vehicles of more than 4,000 cubic centimeters and all of the
gasoline. And the gasoline was 17-18 pesetas and was cheaper than the
water, for example. The clothes also caught my attention, mainly in the
women. Women hide themselves with mantels from top to bottom and on some only
the eyes are seen. Coming from another culture we get a lot of attention. I
enjoyed it and I wouldn't mind repeating it." [Note: This last line has been corrected.]
Was there fear because of the proximity of Qatar with Iraq? "We were a little
restless, yes, but since the race organizer is the same as for the Tour, we
relaxed. Soon everything went on as normal. We only saw the military a pair of